Living!

Thank you for all of the wig comments!  Very entertaining!  My favorite was #3 – in red – but I also liked #1 because of Sara’s sweet comment, “We match!”

People in the know have said that when your hair actually falls out, you just want to look like yourself, so I’m in no hurry to choose.  My hair continues to thin, but it isn’t coming out in clumps yet (and may not until I get the drug Taxol in July).  Also, I’d hoped to donate my ponytail to Locks of Love, but unless 80′s rat tails are in demand, there will not be much to send!

11 days after my first chemo infusion and I feel great.  Still on the daily chemo pill at half-dose.  20 years of calluses are literally falling off of my feet, which is both fascinating and gross, and I have some minor stomach issues.  But, I’m eating normally (actually, our whole family is eating better than ever, thanks to the generosity of friends!).  And I took a Zumba class this weekend and mowed the lawn, so I’m looking forward to getting some exercise before we go back to Emory – May 2 for port, May 3 for chemo #2.

More from last week:
WinkJoey, Mystery Reader Extraordinaire, reading to Sam’s class.
Thanks to the buddies who played golf and tennis with him during his birthday weekend!

DSCN0673Sara and I before Girl Scouts’ Mother/Daughter Bingo,
which we went to in our pj’s.

Thank you for checking in on us!

Nicole

Cast Your Vote!

It’s 3:51am. Hard-boiled egg whites, anyone?

I woke up starving…must be a good sign!

4th day after 1st chemo infusion and doing ok.  Fighting nausea.  Reached new levels of tiredness.  Huffing and puffing to walk around our block is hard to accept.  But, this weekend I managed to drive Sara to a Girl Scouts event, watch Sam play baseball (and get a game ball for outrunning a bigger kid to third base!), and walk to a family dinner at a friend’s house, where I ate chicken, fruit and a tiny bit of pizza crust – a feast!Thank you, Jennifer!

Next up for this week: a visit to a wig shop with Sara, schedule a port (device to be surgically implanted into my chest, to avoid the multiple vein sticks before infusions), limited driving and a few short walks.  And shopping for sun hats – I step outside and my face gets red and blotchy.  My trusty, straw cowboy hat is cool on the beach, but ridiculous at Publix.

And, Saturday the 21st is my amazing husband’s birthday.  Any kudos I get for being “brave” or ”positive” are because he’s here beside me.

Thank you all for checking in on us!
Nicole

1 down, 7 to go

Yesterday was a long day, but it’s over, and we’re so glad!

There was bloodwork first, then an appt with Dr. O’Regan’s nurse practitioner from Grady, whom we loved (her regular one, Kate The Wonderful, is on maternity leave).  Then scheduling the next appts and waiting for a chair in the infusion center.

The worst part of the day was getting the IV started – it took 2 lovely nurses (it’s my small, weak veins, not them) and 4 tries.  I will be getting a port surgically implanted before the next one.

Finally, at Noon, ”let the drip begin!” as my tough, fellow cancer-fighting cousin said last week.  Since Cisplatin is hard on the kidneys, the first and last 1-1/2 hours were hydration (2 liters!).  The middle 2 hours, Cisplatin.  I spent a lot of time going back and forth to the bathroom, pushing my IV cart.  First time I’ve actually felt like a patient.

The Best Parts of the Day
First, a visit from my college roommate who happens to live near Emory.  She is witty and kind and I love her.  And since each patient is only allowed one visitor at a time – I had a cushy chair, but the rest of our “chemo bay” is cramped – Joey had an excuse to walk outside on a beautfiul day and eat a nice lunch.  Another rule – no hot or cooked foods in there, nothing with an odor.  I had applesauce and crackers from a volunteer’s snack cart and bananas from home.

Second, our children were so wonderfully taken care of until well past 7pm.  Our 6-year-old, sprawled on our couch, tired from playing hard, asked, “Mom, the next time you have cancer, can we stay with the Gillens?”

Finally, the good wishes we got throughout the day, the cheers on this blog reacting to my good PET scan, and the bounty that was on our front porch when we got home…just amazing.  After the kids were in bed (they’d been fed earlier), Joey and I were so tired, but so hungry, and we enjoyed the most wonderful dinner left by a friend.  There were also flowers, a cool water bottle, the coziest pj’s ever, a perfect journal and countless good vibes coming from so many different people.  It is heart-filling and we thank you.

The Day After
Nausea started at 3:30am, but certainly one of the many pill bottles we picked up last night will help!  I’m out of bed now and hoping to go on a walk with my hubby, who is working from home today.  So far, so good.

Nicole

Great News, No Caveat

An email sent from Dr. O’Regan at 12:38am today:
“Nicole, your PET scan shows decreased activity in the breast mass even though you didn’t get the full dose of Sorafenib!”